Walla Walla County Health Departmen has received notification of probable West Nile Disease in a Walla Walla County resident. West Nile Disease is caused by a virus that is transmitted by mosquitoes. The West Nile Virus is commonly found in small birds and is transmitted between birds, horses, and eventually people by mosquitoes.
Eighty percent (80%) of people infected with the West Nile Virus will experience nothing but will become immune to future infections. Approximately twenty percent (20%) will develop West Nile Fever, with a low grade fever, rash, mild head ache, muscle aches, joint pains, and other low-grade symptoms. Less than one percent (1%) will develop severe disease with an infection of the brain. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for West Nile Disease, patients are provided supportive care. If you’re concerned if you have West Nile Disease please consult with your healthcare provider.
You can protect yourself against this potentially severe disease with some fairly simple measures.
Avoid Mosquito Bites
•Use insect repellents when you go outdoors. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection.
•When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent will give extra protection.
•Take extra care during peak mosquito biting hours. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing from dusk to dawn or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
•Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside. Use your air conditioning, if you have it.
•Help reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths on a regular basis.
Support your local community mosquito control programs.
•Report dead birds to the Washington Department of Health’s reporting system at: https://fortress.wa.gov/doh/eh/portal/ehs/odbrs/
Vaccinate your horse against West Nile Disease
Further information on West Nile Virus and the disease it causes can be found at:
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